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U.S. Attorney's office in WNY recovers $94 million. Where does it go?

Updated: 12/30/2013 6:00 PM
Created: 12/30/2013 3:40 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

The U.S. Attorney's office in Western New York announced today that in 2013, it recovered a record $94 million from criminals and their crimes. We wanted to know -- where does that money go?

The answer is most of the money goes back to the U.S. Treasury.

Click here to learn what the U.S. Treasury does.

That's by law. It puts the money back in the system but it's hard for the average person to feel any impact from that. 

We do see an impact in the millions that go to victims of crime and police departments that fight the crime.

This morning -- U.S. Attorney William Hochul showed the amount of money his office recovered in 2013.

Click here to read the U.S. Attorney's office press release

Of the $94 million, $75 million was collected in criminal and civil cases. A little more than $19 million was collected from criminal and civil "forfeitures." According to the U.S. Attorney's office, "forfeitures generally involve proceeds of crime as well as property used to commit crime" including houses, cars and computers. 

We wondered -- if that illegal money was produced here, why doesn't all of it stay here?

Brean: if these financial crimes were committed in the Western District of New York, why doesn't all the money you recovered stay in the Western District of NY?

William Hochul, U.S. Attorney for Western NY:  That's a good question and it has to do with the federal laws. In the world in which we live, the vast majority of the money thanks to this Miscellaneous Receipts Act, does go to the general treasury.

So here's how the money breaks down. 

the US Attorney's Office for Western New York recovered $94 million this year. 

Of that -- $20 million will be paid to victims of crimes prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Western New York. 

In cases of tax fraud -- the victim is the IRS.

Close to $4 million is shared with local police departments that investigated the crimes. 

The remaining $70 million goes back to the U.S. Treasury. 

The Treasury handles all of the federal government's money, from collecting your taxes to paying the government's bills. 



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